Vera Lossau

Photography – Hans Zerbes

Vera Lossau (born in 1976 in Haan, Germany) is an internationally working visual artist based in Düsseldorf, Germany. She was educated at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (with Prof. Magdalena Jetelová (Meisterschülerbrief) and Prof. Rita McBride), and completed her Master studies at the Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, UK. She received a number of awards and stipends, among which the Frauenkulturpreis 2014 of the Landschaftsverband Rheinland, Bonn and the Künstlerinnenförderpreis of the county of Northrhine-Westfalia. Her art is represented in private and public collections. Vera Lossau’ss work has been exhibited in many art institutions and museums, like the Museum Schloß Moyland (GER), the Stiftung MuseumKunstPalast Düsseldorf (GER), the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen (GER), the Alfred Institute Tel Aviv (ISR), IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (IRL), the Museum for Applied Arts, Cologne (GER), Kunstverein Mönchengladbach (GER) and many more.

Part of her artistic approach includes the use of a wide range of sculptural techniques and different materials, which serve to create a variety of facettes and layers in her works. Vera Lossau is getting inspiration through travelling and investigating specific cultural and arthistorical fields. Playing with the notion of classical positions from art history and transforming it into her own aesthetic language, Vera Lossau creates (additionally to the sculptural qualities of her work) a dialogue on a conceptual base. Her approach is far from linear, and she keeps her research fields open – which results in unexpected and interdisciplinary forms of presentation.

“Vera Lossau pulls off an unusual balancing act with her sculptures. They are self-consciously Conceptual but nevertheless display traces of the artist’s hand, and like works in the tradition of Minimalism, they often point to their own spatial contexts, though they also take on a metaphorical dimension – a few are even narrative. Can these things go together? Haven´t Conceptual and Minimalist approaches to art always stood in vehement opposition to expressive and metaphorical, let alone narrative, entanglements? As we see in the latest show by her, the combination can work if the contrasts produce an engaging tension.

And this is just what Lossau is after: this tension between Conceptual and Minimalist approaches to sculpture and the metaphorical reach that has been a major part of what sculpture is about. Lossau’s references to medieval Madonnas and her fascination with the art of the early Renaissance, on the one hand, and with Marcel Duchamp on the other, are therefore not merely irreconcilable whims but help define her conceptually grounded modus operandi. But at the same time, she knows that  this tension between modernist reductiveness and metaphorical complexities can never be fully resolved. Lossau’s sculptures can come off as absurd – and this is what she wants: “This absurdity gives a tiny sense of freedom, since it exists behind the known structures of perception,” as she explained in an interview. “And precisely this is the motivation for and part of my quest.”

quote from: Noemi Smolik: Vera Lossau  ARTFORUM INTERNATIONAL, SUMMER 2012
Translated from the German by Oliver E. Dryfuss